The California State Board of Equalization voted unanimously Tuesday to reduce the state’s excise tax on gasoline by six cents, although consumers are unlikely to see the tax reduction reflected in prices at the pumps.
The state excise tax on gasoline in California will be lowered from 36 cents to 30 cents, a source at the Board of Equalization told Breitbart News. The excise tax on diesel fuel will rise by two cents, from 11 to 13 cents.
In 2010, state legislators introduced a “fuel tax swap,” a reduction in the state excise tax but an increase in state sales tax on gasoline. The move allowed legislators to pull funding from the state’s transportation budget to fund other projects. It also mandated the Board of Equalization to adjust the state excise tax on its own each year.
“To the average taxpayer out there, there’s no way they understand what the issue is and how much tax they actually pay on a gallon of gasoline,” Sen. Runner argued at Tuesday’s hearing, saying the Board itself struggled with the complex formula set up in 2010. “Clarity of tax is essential for taxpayers.”
The tax reduction will take effect July 1.
According to the American Petroleum Institute (API) , California has the second-highest combined state and federal gas tax in the nation behind Pennsylvania, at 63.79 cents per gallon. The national average is 48.23 cents per gallon. At 30 cents per gallon, the newly-reduced state excise tax will still be 10 cents higher than the national average.
Despite the reduction in the excise tax, consumers are unlikely to notice a change in price at the pumps, due to other factors that affect gasoline production.